Category Archives: Creativity

Life As A Mama #38

These days do happen, but rarely…
Baby’s breakfast is prepared and looking yummy!!
Making our breakfasted has become just a routine…I can be done in less than 10min now. 😎 I decided to eat my peanut butter honey toast in the kitchen standing up.
As I finished my last bite…Elizabeth had finished hers…WOW!
She also…put her dishes in the sink and counter when she was done…
I was surprised but also quite proud…
Now this I think is the biggest surprise for me…!
Like always doing the dishes after dinner. When a sudden, “Mama!” told me it must be that time.
Potty time!! When she was finally done going potty and ready to go back into the kitchen…I saw this…😳
The hubby…was doing…the dishes…🤯
Almost exactly the face I had after I saw this…I took a picture when it happened. Just because I knew this would be great comic content.
Beware people…beware…
Original by emily2jane
4-25-21

Elizabeth now clears her dishes and puts them in the dishwasher. 🥰 It’s so cute!! Also whenever we are watching a movie while eating out ice cream on the couch, she will take our bowls and spoons and put them in the sink. She takes care of mama! 😍

And I really shouldn’t be so shocked about the hubby doing the dishes…but it’s been almost four years since I saw that sight…

I guess… husbands in the world… if you want to confuse your wife do the dishes one night without saying anything… She, like me, will wonder if the world is ending.

Haha 😂 well enjoy your day!

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 34

CHAPTER 34

Monday again. Two days until finals. I know, I know, I skipped over way too much, give me a break. But there was really nothing to report. I guess I’ll recap the highlights. Thursday after returning to school after the burritos, I didn’t notice the so called ‘change‘ to Jenny. Sure, she was quiet and wouldn’t be around me, but as I had said, that is how she acted after the John incident. I wish the guys had not mentioned it; it really isn’t something to worry over. Still, I had hoped she would have been more confident after how she held herself in front of Jeremy, but maybe with time she would be confident once again.

Dad has been pretty much living in his recording studio; he has been in a tornado of inspiration; which I am happy for him. School is normal as usual; some days we learn, some days we are used to vent at about: the cruelties of teaching the youth. I explained to Coach what had happened to Jenny and my actions; Coach was not impressed that I almost started another incident, but he was impressed that I controlled myself and not hit the guy. Practices have been excellent. We have occasionally been training with Ken to work on his freestyle for the relay, but mostly it was been long distance recovery sets.

Oh, right I forgot to say, there have been no more morning practices. It has been so great to turn off my four-thirty alarms. Sleeping in has done wonders for my muscles. Finals is going to be sweet.

Today’s practice was again chill. We have done about twenty-four hundred yards for warm-up; though we would be doing a short sprint set soon. Coach was working with the lower lanes while Jenny and Brit were watching our lane and the two below us. Watching us swim is probably boring. We have broken all our bad habits because we have Coach usually staring us down if we make a mistake; so we now just swim and swim and swim. Lily was at the Bailey’s again; I’m guessing Coach has grown accustomed to having someone to watch his daughter.

Everything was going smoothly. After our last two hundred Jerry and I pulled ourselves up and onto the deck to cool off and enjoy the Gatorades Jenny had brought to share.

“How do you guys just keep swimming without stopping? It seems like it would get boring after a while,” Brit questioned as she threw Gatorades to Ken, Matthew, and the other two lanes.

“Slow days like today,” Michael, a swimmer in the lane next to us, said as he sipped the Gatorade, “make us appreciate these easy days as much as possible. They don’t come often, especially that lane,” thumbing toward us.

“Yep. I am soaking up the easy!” Jerry sighed and gulped the remainder of the gatorade.

Just as we were almost completely relaxed, “Well. I see you all are finished…what shall we do next?” Coach had walked over gripping his hands in a similar manner he does when we are about to die. The lower lanes were already getting out of the pool.

‘Lucky.’ “Okay,” I put the cap on the bottle and slip back into the pool. Jerry follows pursuit. “What is next?”

“These two lanes divide into your normal freestyle relays, and be one lane apart.” Coach waved them to other lanes.

‘What’s Coach up to?’ We stayed put.

“As you know…relays…but the catch is…” Coach smirked, “swimming backwards. George demonstrate.”

‘He knows Jerry is better at it than I am…’ “Okay.” Leaving the wall feet first and trying to attempt to look correct. Popping my head up Coach is laughing…actually laughing…I swam normal to the wall.

“That was almost as good as your backstroke swimming,” Coach sputtered between his deep belly laughs. “Be happy you don’t have to do that competitively.” Coach stopped finally, “Follow George’s example. Each person has four 50s each. Treat this as your cooldown. Let’s begin.”

Constant.

Streams flooding.

Rivers gushing.

The mind is oozing,

With creative energy.

No telling when I’ll stop…

Why should I?

Fill it to the brim.

Push it over the edge.

Don’t give an inch!

Always strive for more.

Imagination is vast,

And never ending…

I wrote this poem after jotting down all my ideas for my story that I’m writing. I started at 4pm and I just stopped at 8:40pm…the storyline just flowed out of me.

I’m excited to write all the new chapters. But my hand is killing me. I even had to get another notebook…

When you have the creative bug just let it be the boss. I feel quite accomplished right now. 😎 But I decided to give my mind a break and write a poem.

I’m liking the writing my feelings into a poem. It’s clear and simple. It also refreshes my mind and emotions.

Have a crisp refreshing Thursday. 😎

Digital Art by: emily2jane
4-21-21

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 33

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 32

CHAPTER 33

I did not want to wake up this morning. Still, I had to because Dad got a text late last night from Coach telling me I had an early morning practice today; also that I had to give Matthew a ride. So here I am sitting in my jeep at five-ten in the morning, waiting for Matthew to come out and join me in the freezing air. It was dark but I saw the silhouette of Matthew exit his house and dart to my car.

Throwing open the door and jumping inside, “Dude turn up the heat! It’s freezing in here.”

“Why bother,” I grumbled as I started towards our death, “we will be jumping in a cold pool in a little bit, anyways.”

“Still. I want to be a smidge happy before I die,” Matthew reached across and turned the heat up to an unbearable temperature as we headed toward the school.

Practice was not what I expected. I assumed it would just be Matthew and I, but instead Jerry and Ken were waiting for us on the pool deck as we entered. Coach said he wants us to do a long recovery after our meet yesterday. So pretty much practice was lots of yardage and not speed. It was actually awesome. We four were floating in the pool waiting for practice to be over as Coach approached us. I was expecting a, ‘Gotcha! and some unwelcomed pain.’

“So how do you all feel? I apologize for leaving the meet so quickly without allowing you to cooldown completely, or give you your splits from that last relay. My daughter,” Coach paused and rubbed his forehead, “was perfect the whole day until the last hour, Mrs. Bailey said. She can be a real brat sometimes. I love her, but sometimes,” a frustrated huff came out to finish off his thought. “Anyways, you all good?”

We all nodded. I was surprised that this was actually all that this practice was going to be. I felt refreshed and ready to go.

“Good. Because other than relay exchanges, and maybe a bit of freestyle work for you Ken, your remaining practices will be somewhat similar to this one. I was deeply impressed by your last relay. Even with all the torment and craziness of your previous practices, you four were able to drop so much time. I am very pleased as your coach.”

That was a shock. I don’t think Coach has ever said anything similar to that in all the years I have swam for him.

“Okay for your splits. You should all, including Ken, be impressed,” Coach paused, “Matthew 49.56.”

“Wow. Dude! That is amazing!” Ken smacked Matthew on the shoulder. In return Matthew shoved Ken underwater. Ken came up sputtering.

“Enough you two,” Coach gave them the look of behave; they both separated and focused on Coach again, “Ken, 52.96.”

Ken was silent. Forgetting about what Coach just said, we all lunged at Ken and gave him a congratulatory hug, knowing he would be submerged under the water again.

“Blaaa…Wh…y..blah…did…” Ken surfaced again sputtering trying to compose a sentence. Realizing or mistake, we helped keep him afloat as he gained his composure, “I had my mouth gaping open as you shoved me underwater. I thought I was dying just now.”

Remembering where we were and who was probably annoyed, I slowly turned back to Coach. He was indeed quite annoyed. I jabbed Jerry in the side to shut him up and to hopefully bring his attention back.

“What was that for…” Jerry stopped mid sentence as he too saw Coach’s face. He in turn waved to Matthew and Ken, who both zipped their mouths shut.

“I apologize Coach. We will be better behaved now,” I said as we all turned and treaded water giving him our full attention.

“Good. I understand congratulating each other, but do not make me repeat myself again. And be happy the rest of the team is not here to witness this spectacle. Understood?”

Still treading water we all nodded silently.

“Good. Jerry 47.98. George 45.50. Over all you four did extremely well. And because you were able to do this amazing with no rest is why I have decided to slowly rest you until finals. Because I believe that you can go even faster by finals. And Matthew,” Coach stopped a moment, “since you were lead-off, your time will count as an official individual time. I will be updating your finals entry to this new time. Get prepared.”

We were all still silent. I was so proud of my teammates as Coach talked, but there was no way I was going to be the first to start talking.

“Okay. Enough chit chat. School will start in one hour. Do a five hundred cooldown and you all are done.” Coach walked away and entered his office.

“Let’s do the cooldown and go into the locker rooms to discuss your times, I don’t know about you all, but I don’t want Coach to take back all he just said,” Matthew said quickly before leaving the wall to begin his cooldown.

Ken followed his pursuit. Jerry nodded in agreement and looked to me before he left too. I needed no more convincing. I moved to another lane and left the wall just like the guys.

“You didn’t notice?” Ken said before devoring his breakfast burrito.

Instead of talking smack in the locker rooms, we decided to go get breakfast a few blocks away. It was a food truck called the Hot Moo. They had the spiciest, but most delicious breakfast burrito. I was about half way into mine.

“You noticed too? I thought I was seeing things. She was acting funny on the car ride home,” Jerry murrmered through chewing.

“Brit?” I asked quickly before taking another bite.

“No. Jenny. After your declaration of family and the awesome demonstrations of homeschooler side hugs, she was quiet the entire drive to her house. She just kept looking out the window. Brit was normal as usual. She tried to include Jenny into our discussions of swimming and coaching, but she ignored her and continued to stare out the window,” Ken said in between bites.

“Bro! Please, choose to eat or speak! Don’t do both. But yeah. Jenny was acting unusual. She said a quick goodbye and ran to her door; not looking back to say goodbye before shutting the door,” Matthew was disgusted with Ken’s eating habits, but was not fazed enough to hinder himself from finishing his burrito.

All this talk was news to me, “Nope. I didn’t notice anything before you guys left. But also remember, she had the great showdown with Jeremy and actually stood up for herself,” I paused to let that sink in. “Also, if you remember after the John incident, Jenny seemed to shutdown as well. Her way of dealing must be to put up wall and figure this out at her own
pace.”

“That is true. Except for the awkwardness between the two of you she did become a completely different person before she figured it out,” Matthew said as he gathered up our trash and was throwing it away. “But seriously dude, what was with the side hug? She was obviously going for a normal hug?”

“I really didn’t think anything of it. I really do see you guys as my brothers, and now I do see Brit and Jenny as family. After Brit’s hug, I guess it was a reflex,” feeling exasperated that I was being questioned for good behavior. Heading to the jeep to head back to school, I paused, “I really don’t see the need to question me, and honestly I don’t really want to think about this. We should and will just focus on our swimming and prepare for finals. Sound good?”

“No worries, but I’m going to sleep on the drive back. I really can’t afford to fall sleep in another math class,” Ken said climbing into the back seat.

“If you wanted to sleep you should have skipped the breakfast and slept,” Jerry chuckled as he too jumped in the back.

“And miss out on the Hot Moo…yeah right,” Ken’s faced showed true disbelief and shock, “especially when George is buying. No brainer,” in a split second, Ken’s expression disappeared and change to smug confidence.

“Whatever. Let’s head to school,” I say as I pull out on the road.

Life As A Mama #37

Today was a nice day, but filled with sadness…😅

Da Da Dunnnnnnn!
She was being such a sweet sweet this morning that I wanted a picture of her…
I guess it was too much to ask…I preceded to copy her; I sent that picture to my family.
Got her ready for church and she looked so cute! Will she smile for grandma…
Yes. Yes she will. Mama, no. Grandma, yes.
Figures….
Lunchtime!!
One of the foods that makes her a happy baby…applesauce. Meaning of life for her…
Now my turn!
I did everything for her first as always. Made her Mac n cheese, gave her applesauce, milk. So I turned my back a second and…
Her applesauce is untouched…whereas my apples have been munched upon…
She ate all the good parts and left me the peel part. She also gave me back all the bites that were not to her liking. 😒
Yes another black rain cloud. It was a rain cloud type of moment.

I still ate my “apple” I’ve gotten used to it. I guess the love of apples has been passed down to Elizabeth. I’ve always loved apples.

Random memory: In the first Harry Potter movie, the scene with the Halloween feast…you see all the meat, candy, desserts, etc. However for me, the first time I saw the movie I was with my sister and I yelled, “APPLES!!” when a basket of them came on screen. The love of apples is good. Haha 😂

Original by emily2jane
4-18-21

It was not a bad day. It was actually a very nice Sunday. I am just feeling some heart break for my apple.

Also, you should know Elizabeth continued, and ate all of her applesauce, and asked for seconds…

Enjoy your Monday. Have an apple 🍎😊

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 32

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 31

CHAPTER 32

Turning onto my street, my phone buzzed from my bag behind me. Turning down the music, “Jenny can you dig out my phone and hand it to Matthew?”

“Sure,” Jenny said as she found the phone and stretched to hand Matthew the phone.

“Next time we all pile in the jeep, I get a primo spot; one without this fat idiot,” Jerry grumble as Matthew was showing me the phone.

“Be nice or I’ll let the cannon go,” Ken smirked sarcastically leaning.

Unable to focus on driving, reading a text, and listening to Jerry and Ken bicker, “Will you shut it. I can’t pay attention with you two talking nonsense. And Ken, don’t you dare. Not unless you want to walk to my house.”

Silence.

“Thank you. Okay Matthew,” Looking at the message finally.

‘Credit card on island. Got inspiration. Sorry.’ -Dad

‘No problem Dad.’

We ordered the food as soon as we got to the house. Pizza, chicken wings, soda, etc. The normal healthy food that high schoolers eat. As we waited for the food to be delivered we decided to swim. I lent Jenny some exercise clothes while Matthew did the same for Brit. They looked hilarious in our baggy clothes; I think Brit more so because Matthew’s shorts looked more like pants. Jenny and Brit were chilling in the hot tub, while Jerry and I were finally finishing our cooldown. Jerry and Ken were
trying to mess with us underwater. The food arrived just as I started to feel relaxed. ‘Perfect timing!’

It was almost ten o’clock, “It’s amazing how fast time flies when you are having fun,” Jerry swung his arm over my shoulders.” I already called an Uber. It will be able to take all of us. We will take Jenny and Brit home first, and then we will be dropped off. You guys ready to go?” Jerry called to the living room as the rest headed towards us.

“Hold your horses. We have to wait for the driver anyways,” Ken said sitting down and leaning against the wall by the front door. “But I will say, I am happy to be going home. I am exhausted.”

Jenny and Brit were leaning against each other, while Matthew was leaning causually against the same wall as Ken.

“You all looked kind of awful. It is a good thing you all are heading home now; you all need your beauty sleep,” I said while Jerry laughed with me. Ken and Matthew completely ignored me as I expected; whereas Jenny and Brit fidgeted and stood more upright to seem more alert.

‘Beep beep, beep.’ Jerry pulled out his phone, “The driver is here.” He sent a message back, “I told him we would be out in a few minutes.” Taking his arm off of me, “Well see you tomorrow dude. Only one week until our future takes off. Let’s go, you four,” Jerry walked towards the front door.

“Yeah. See you all tomorrow,” Ken and Matthew gave me a fist bump. We were outside now, and they were heading towards the Uber; I watched as my friends walked away and I decided I would say what I was thinking. “I will say,” everyone paused, “it is a great feeling to have great friends. I guess I can call all of you my friends for life. Thanks for being my unofficial family.

Jerry came towards me with open arms, “Is this where I do a cheesy hug?”

“I think he definately needs a hug!” Ken ran up and squeezed the air our of me. “Come on Matthew, George needs a hug.”

Matthew slowly walked over and patted me on the shoulder. “I don’t think you really want a hug from me, because my arms would go around your head. You know because you are so short.”

Jenny and Brit who had moved closer laughed at Matthew’s statement. “Do you also need a hug from us, your new sisters?” Brit laughed as she walked up and gave me a crisp homeschooler style side hug.

I laughed, “Thanks Brit,” giving the side hug back.

Jenny had also came up to give a hug, probably not wanting to be left out of this cheesy hug fest. I accepted her approach by giving her a side hug as well. Jenny stiffly smiled and returned the side squeeze. Dropping my arm and moving away I shooed them towards the car. “Stop all this nonsense. The driver is waiting. See you all tomorrow.” I walked back to front door and was closing it just as they closed the car door. ‘Tonight was a strange, but great night.’

Life As A Mama #36

The woes of toys…all parents understand…

This is two days of not cleaning….it’s a mine field in our living room…
Big building blocks!!! OUCH!!
Plastic bears between the toes…!!!!
Impression of the lego on the foot…can you imagine the pain!?!
It was chalk time?…I was making lunch and she got too quiet. Which is why I walked through the mine field.
Daddy’s chair…😵 at least he was not home. I made her clean it off…
The rocking horse…😩 again she cleaned it.
The piano bench…I did not include the couch or another shelf…which again she had to clean. Her chalk has been taken away.
Enough was enough…Clean up time!!!
Just because I can!
Imagine angels singing a big, “Hallelujah!”
But not for long. The sound of blocks being thrown begins again…

The living room looks worse than it did last night….so we will be cleaning again! All parents understand the legos…Whoever invented them did not think about the pain caused when stepping on them. If they had…

When the older kid legos become a big thing in my house…we will have to have a designated area…

Enjoy your Thursday!! 😊

Supposedly the happiest word is laughter…

The deed is done.

So you wait for it to grow.

Waiting.

Feeling.

Loving.

The heartbeat is strong,

So you, of course, push on.

Softness.

Warmth.

And love.

They see you for the first time.

Happiness comes to mind.

I decided today I would write a poem. It’s been a while since I wrote poetry but my style hasn’t changed. I needed some inspiration so I looked up the word of the day….and came upon The Happiest Word: Laughter. I understand their reasoning. But my happiest word would have to be birth.

Birth. Bring into life. The mom’s in the world…you understand. Even if there are days where you think you will lose all your hair you just need to remember that when they opened their eyes and saw you for the first time…they knew.

Elizabeth has been too much of a sweet sweet to draw…but knowing her personality, I will have something soon.

4-13-21 8:57am

Enjoy your Tuesday. ❤️

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 31

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 30

CHAPTER 31

I had another out of body moment. I had held my breath the last lap so I was unable to see straight as I held onto the wall. I could hear screaming; however, I couldn’t tell you the tone. ‘Come on head! Clear up so I can see the result.’ I ducked my head underwater to clear my mind; surfacing I could see the guys hugging and dancing around behind the block. Jeremy was also hanging onto the wall, but he had his head down and was not saying anything. ‘That’s a first. Must be a good sign.’ Looking at the board it read, lane 4, 1st, and 3:15.00…

“What!?!” I was shocked. That is our best time by about five and half seconds. “Wait?…” I searched for Coach; two big thumbs up were waiting for me. ‘Wow’ I think that is the first time Coach showed any encouragement publicly. Jenny and Brit were hugging and and jumping behind Coach. Wow they were identical to the guys. ‘The guys.’

I dragged my body out of the water and into their laughing embrace. ‘Ouch’ I didn’t realize how bad my muscles hurt until this moment.

“Dude you did it! And almost by one and half body lengths!” Ken had latched onto my shoulders and was screaming in my ear.

“Really?” I knew we won but I didn’t know it was that much, “turning my attention back to the board and saw Mountain High’s time…3:16.89… Wow almost two seconds behind. “That’s awesome!”

Jeremy had pulled himself out of the pool; he teammates had already left him behind.

“A deal is a deal. You will uphold your end.” Talking to Jeremy’s back, because he was trying to leave and would not face me. “Uphold…”

“Whatever. Fine. Just later,” and Jeremy huffed out, still with his back to us, he walked off.

‘Oh he will be upholding it later. I will make sure of it,’ walking towards the cooldown pool.

I didn’t realize how much tension I had in my body until I jumped into that cooldown pool. Matthew and Ken only did about half of what Jerry and I did. I needed more. I was hurting. As coach said you cooldown until you don’t hurt. ‘I don’t think the pool will be open long enough for that.’

Jerry flagged me down, “Come on George. Brit just came and told us to hurry up. If we need more cooldown he said to do more at your house. Coach has to go get Lily; I guess she has been, as Brit said, ‘an angry pickle today’.”

“Okay. I will probably be swimming more when I get home. I am still so tense,” I said as we clambered out of the pool. “Is it like now? Or do we have time to shower off?”

“I think its now. I guess Mrs. Bailey is about to lose her marbles; and Coach doesn’t want to lose her as a back-up person who babysits. Since you are going to swim again, just skip the shower. Anyways we need to hurry to catch the apology.

“Right. Let’s go,” I was not about to miss my early reward.

I was going to include all the entire team to watch Jeremy’s pathetic apology, but Jerry stopped me, “He won’t apologize in front of many people. If he is humiliated too much he won’t be sincere. Let’s just wait until the rest of the team leaves, and I already told Ken and Matthew to get Jenny and Brit.”

“Why are you always right Jerry. Fine. But it would have been great,” gathering up my gear as we head to where the apologize would go down.

People reading, I wish you could be here to watch this. It is perfect. Jeremy was behaving almost identical to John. Cowardly standing in front of us; none of his buddies were present. They probably all left right after he lost the race.

“So you gonna talk? You were all talkative earlier?” Ken was the first to speak in the silence.

We all chuckled.

Jeremy looked up.

I don’t know why his discomfort makes me so happy. He looked like he might start swinging before apologizing.

“Dude. Just man up and admit your mistake and apologize; or your wimping out might become the new gossip to talk about,” Ken interjected again. “Let’s imagine, ‘Did you hear about the captain from Mountain High who talked to much and chickened out when’…”

“Fine!” Jeremy walked towards Jenny.

I stopped him when he was close enough. “You can apologize from there.” I stepped off to Jenny’s side; the guys and Brit took up their places behind her.

Jeremy stopped right where I wanted him to. “Wow. Even now you are going to deny she is your girl? Man, I bet your real girlfriend is jealous of how…”

“Jeremy. This is not the time for your nonsense. A bet is a bet. Apologize,” I was done with him. ‘Why do I have to keep handling jerks who can’t apologize.’

“I’m sorry for what I said to you,” Jeremy said clearly.

‘Okay. At least it was loud enough to be heard.’ “Is that it? All that bluster for a pathetic apology.” Jerry called him out on it; thankfully it was not me.

Jeremy glared at Jerry, and then at me, “I should have never bet a… fine,” turning back towards Jenny, “I am sorry for my rude behavior and my rude words. I will be better behaved the next time we meet. You good?”

“Yes I’m good. I accept the apology,” Jenny finally spoke, but her stance showed that she wasn’t done; “however, I hope we never see each other again. As my friend says, ‘Ignore.’ Ignore me in the future. I want no part of your childish behavior to effect my swimmers.”

“Mic drop. Enough said,” Matthew said while Brit leaned against him giving an agreement nod.

Not waiting for more, “On that note, let’s leave. We should always ignore the people not worth acknowledging.” Jenny grabbed onto my arm and started walking away from Jeremy. “George do you think we can catch a ride? I realize Coach was my ride home.”

“No problem. But let’s head to my house for some celebration food. I’ll let my dad know,” pulling out my phone, letting Dad know what was up. I got a quick response. ‘Okay will have food ready!’ “We are all set. Let’s go. But it will be a tight fit,” pulling out my keys and unlocking the jeep. “Pile in!” Completely ignoring Jeremy’s presence.

Matthew who is the tallest claimed the front seat. The other four scrambled and squeezed to fit in the back. They finally settled with the idea of Ken sitting on Jerry’s lap while buckled. It was already exclaimed that this experience will never leave the jeep, said by both Jerry and Ken glaring, or we will have to eat our shoes. We all just laughed as we drove to my house. Looking in my rear view mirror, Jeremy was no where in sight. ‘Good. Hopefully he learns something this time.’

Life Of Two Best Friends: High School CHPT 30

Life Of Two Best Friends CHPT 29

CHAPTER 30

The meet went pretty much as planned. Our B and C relay teams did the first relay. They did as Coach said earlier, “Home Pride,” and defeated the B and C teams of Mountain High like it was nothing. Jerry and the guys were actually beginning to believe their sarcastic words from earlier; believing we would actually win. As individual events go, today’s meet was different than most; the events were our off events, because Coach didn’t want us to use up or great race at this meet. So Matthew and I exchanged events, while Ken and Jerry exchanged.

It was weird to be swimming a backstroke event, and it will probably be my last time based on what Coach said afterwards, “That was interesting? It’s a good thing that it is not your normal race.”

‘I am good never swimming it again’; Matthew is crazy for liking that race. Still, this exchange did make it well worth it, to see Ken struggle and die in Jerry’s normal five-hundred event. It was priceless.

Jenny and Brit were doing as I had suggested; they would help Coach in anyway he needed. This was the first meet where I’ve seen Coach so relaxed.

Our medley relay had been in the middle of the meet. That event was piece of cake to win. Even though Jeremy’s gang talks a big talk, they don’t have enough to beat us at our specialty strokes. But that wasn’t the relay that decided my fate; the four-hundred freestyle relay did. Each person, four laps, racing to the end. And naturally it is the last race of the meet.

Since my last race was not too long ago and the relay is coming up, I’ve been staying in the cooldown pool. Jerry and the guys had jumped in with me a moment ago, but they did a quick warm-up; now they were stretching behind our lane. Normally this was where the pressure would be beginning to build, but instead I know I cannot lose. My future, Jenny’s reputation, Coach’s pride, the guys, my dad, anyone I care about is depending on me. That pressure is motivation. ‘No one is stopping me. No one.’

I decided enough was enough, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Climbing out of pool, I see Jeremy and his gang were about to enter. ‘Good’ I don’t want to be anywhere near him; just because, he knows he is screwed and would try anything to stop me. ‘Ignore them. They aren’t worth it. Walk away.’

“So you really do believe that you will be winning?” snickered Jeremy as I walk by him.

‘Ignore.’

“I don’t know what you see in her. She is just a mediocre girl. Is she really worth throwing your future away for? Are you so desperate to be her boyfriend that you will attempt to prove your feelings through trying to defend her.” This time is was Brian.

Fight the urge. Settle it in the pool. Ignore. But maybe walk faster.’

“Yeah maybe he likes girls like her. Maybe his type is…”

Turing around. Thankfully I was a distance from him, so I could not do anything damaging. “Shut up Jeremy. Let’s settle this in the pool. You game? Or afraid?” I turned away and headed to my guys. Not wanting to hear his stupid comeback. ‘It’s on.”

It’s time…The order was as always, Matthew, Ken, Jerry, then me. I was always last; the anchor. Which means I am handed all the pressure of winning. I like the pressure!

“Beep, beep, beep,” the ref blew his whistle to signal us to the blocks. Jeremy and his gang were in lane next to us. It was fitting that Jeremy was also anchor; I will be leaving him behind with only his bad attitude as company. Continuing to stretch and warm my muscles up, I search for Coach; finding him I see the nod of approval. That is what I must always see before a race. To his right stood Jenny; she looked hopeful but also worried. Hopefully my reassuring nod gave her some hope. ‘Don’t worry Jenny; I won’t be losing this one.’

The long whistle brought me back to the race. Matthew had stepped onto the block. We knelt around him. Silence filled the deck.

“Take your mark….BEEP,” Matthew was off!

Matthew did his job. He gained a small lead. Touch…and Ken was off. Ken was the one to be nervous about; he only swims freestyle on relays. All he had to do was keep up with our competitor or only fall a little behind…No…’Come on Ken!’ I yelled in my head conserving my energy.

Touch…Jerry left. Thankfully we were only two arm lengths behind, but that distance could be the difference. However, all the motivation I have built up inside me, no distance can defeat me. Stepping onto the block. ‘Come on Jerry. Catch me up.’

One stroke. Two. Three…touch…GO! I was only a smidge behind Jeremy when I dove in. One lap at a time. ‘I WILL win.’ At the fifty mark we are tied, but sadly for Jeremy I am not done yet. Time to leave Jeremy behind. ‘See ya after the race.’ Flip-turn. One lap left. This was no longer a race against him, but myself. One. Two. Wall…